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Sean Penn Honored with 2012 Peace Summit Award

Posted Thursday April 26, 2012 10:08 AM GMT

Ever since the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Sean Penn has been offering up a helping hand wherever possible - and all of his hard work has been recognized once again.

On Wednesday evening (April 25), the 51-year-old actor was presented with the 2012 Peace Summit Award during the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago, IL.

The prestigious award was also referred to as "the Oscar for your humanitarian commitment" by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Udo Janz.

Penn, who took the stage with the Dalai Lama and former Polish President, Lech Walesa, took the time to point out the pride and gratitude he has for the Haitian people, saying, "It would take a poet laureate to describe for you the courage and the dignity of (Haiti's) people. There are no people on earth more willing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. But as Dr. Martin Luther King said, 'It's fine to tell a man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps, but evil to tell a man to do so without boots.'"

The Academy Award-winning star isn't only the CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization - which is an organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively - but he's also recognized as the first non-Haitian to be named as an ambassador-at-large for the Caribbean country's President, Michel Martelly.

Enjoy the pictures of Sean Penn being presented with the 2012 Peace Summit Award (April 25).

Photo Credit: Getty Images